Houston enterprises seeking narrowband communications have a new option, as pdvWireless yesterday announced that its DispatchPlus offering is commercially available in the market and will be available in three other cities—Dallas, Atlanta and Philadelphia—by the end of the month.

In these initial markets, pdvWireless will use Motorola Solutions’ MotoTRBO narrowband radio technology to provide enterprises with LMR service operating on 900 MHz spectrum that Pacific DataVision—the parent company of pdvWireless—purchased from Sprint last year. In addition to the private LMR offering, pdvWireless customers will be able to leverage the cloud-based suite of enhanced dispatch services developed by Pacific DataVision.

“We are excited to be bringing DispatchPlus to the Houston market and are pleased to report that testing of the network has exceeded our expectations in terms of performance and coverage,” pdvWireless CEO John Pescatore said in a prepared statement. “Further, for one low monthly price, our service includes not only wide-area push-to-talk but also our cloud-based business solutions. We believe this combination gives us a significant competitive advantage when compared to other commercial two-way radio solutions available in the marketplace.

“By combining high-quality, unlimited access to push-to-talk with DispatchPlus’ features and ease of use, customers can achieve substantial benefits and cost-savings, such as increased operational efficiencies and improved productivity.”

In an e-mail response to questions from IWCE's Urgent Communications, Pescatore said that pdvWireless has structured its pricing in a manner that will be "simple" for customers.

"For one low monthly price of $30 per unit, DisptachPlus customers receive unlimited, wide area push-to-talk plus full access to our business solutions including workforce tracking, advanced geo-fencing, worker status mapping and the Company’s patented intelligent call prioritization," Pescatore stated. "Beyond traditional voice PTT and location-based solutions,  our application allows customers using a two-way radio to communicate beyond the PTT network, reaching individuals or groups on cellphones or at any e-mail address."  

As pdvWireless deploys narrowband LMR systems in its first four markets, the company also is pursuing a broadband strategy in the 900 MHz band.

Last month, pdvWireless and the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) proposed rules to the FCC that would let pdvWireless aggregate its disparate 900 MHz narrowband spectrum licenses into a contiguous 3x3 MHz swath that could support a wireless broadband technology such as LTE. Comments in the proceeding are due on June 29, and reply comments are due on July 14.

Many pdvWireless officials are former employees of Nextel Communication and are familiar with the rebanding process that the pdvWireless broadband strategy will require. Officials for pdvWireless have said the company wants to target utilities and other critical-infrastructure enterprises with its broadband offering, which will provide customers with private, build-to-suit networks that let the enterprises dictate traffic-priority policies.

In previous proceedings associated with the pdvWireless proposal, utilities have been lukewarm toward to the broadband proposal, expressing concerns about the spectrum-reconfiguration process, potential interference issues and whether the pdvWireless offering will meet their needs.